What Can You Do to Stop Wasting Time and Stay Focused?
about 2 days ago.
Updated about 1 month ago.
Developing time management skills enables you to accomplish high-level goals that accelerate your business success. Time remains our most valuable resource. The most successful professionals master their time utilization, so their "hours worked" align with meaningful objectives. These time management skills guide seasoned professionals in their craft.
So, the five time management skills you want to master are:
1. Schedule Calls Within Time Blocks
Business professionals love to hear the phone ringing. A prospect, partner, or client resides on the other line, waiting for you to pick up the phone. However, fielding calls throughout the day can present a problem. If you spend too much time fielding all your calls, you will not have enough time for outreach and building your brand. Hiring someone on your team to field calls for you greatly alleviates this issue, if you don’t already have someone in place. The person answering the phone can schedule a time for you to call back the prospect or handle the entire call themselves, so you don’t have to.
Connecting with colleagues and people in your local area on Linked-in and asking for introductions to potential clients expands your pipeline. Taking calls throughout the day limits your ability to perform these activities.
Scattering your calls throughout the day will give you little time to embrace deep work for your other objectives. Scheduling your calls within a time block gives you set hours to get into the flow with other activities. Setting a time block is one of the best time management skills to master. This practice cultivates deep work, which is an essential element of highly successful professionals.
Some of the most productive people in the world swear by time blocking. Ever heard of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Michael Hyatt, or Cal Newport? Yep – all time-blockers. They’re squeezing every drop of productivity from their days, and you can do the same.
2. Identify and Prioritize Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Time blocking gives you a scheduling framework to input activities. We all know specific tasks deserve more attention than others, but which tasks deserve the most attention for your business? Rather than take a guess, let your KPIs guide you.
Decide the vital KPIs for your business and prioritize work that matches up with your KPIs. Revenue growth and profitability are two common KPIs. Professionals focusing on these KPIs would focus on activities that bring in revenue and increase profit margins.
Digging deeper into general KPIs such as revenue growth and profitability gives you further clarity on your priorities. If you make the bulk of your revenue through specific products or services, prioritize activities that effectively fill up your pipeline with the greatest opportunities. If connecting with people on Linked-in more effectively fills up your pipeline than writing industry articles, then you should obviously prioritize Linked-in over articles.
3. Put Less Work On Your Plate
When you identify KPIs, it gets easier to implement other time management skills. One of those skills is putting less work on your plate. Many professionals make the mistake of seeing a busy calendar as a successful one.
Rather than focus on how many hours they work, successful professionals fill their calendars with impactful activities that are the highest payoff. Pursuing fewer tasks gives them more time to focus on what most contributes to the bottom line.
Review all of the work you perform in a given day, week, and month. How many activities produce negligible results? How many activities lead to incredible results?
According to Pareto’s Principle, 80% of our results come from 20% of our work. Discover the few activities that yield most of your results. Then, phase out the many activities that only lead to 20% of your results.
4. Slow Down To Speed Up
Slowing down to speed up is one of the most underrated time management skills. If you speed up and always keep yourself busy, you will eventually hit a productivity roadblock. Slowing down your workday with mini breaks allows you to recharge.
A quick walk, exercise routine, or meal away from the screen goes a long way in refueling your mental state. Before important races, runners slow down their mileage and workout paces. They don’t burn themselves out leading up to a race. This level of preparation gives runners plenty of additional energy to thrive on race day.
There is a time and place to work extra hours. However, there is also a time to slow down. Mini-breaks and vacations help you with slowing down.
Not only do professionals temporarily slow down via mini breaks but also by reviewing their businesses. Most professionals make the mistake of staying busy without asking themselves if they’re taking an optimized approach. Taking a step back from your business to review operations will help you understand if you’re moving in the right direction. This review will help with prioritizing your time and addressing essential items.
5. Track Your Time
Even if you apply the other time management skills, you can’t improve in areas you don’t actively track.
Tracking your time allows you to spot opportunities for improvement. You can use a time management app like Toggl, for one example, to document the time you spend on each activity. Tracking your time allows you to see if your time management strategies are working rather than guessing. Professionals strive to remove as much guessing as possible from their success.
In a survey of business professionals, when asked, they consistently feel they waste approximately 2 hours a day, which translates to 10 hours a week, etc. Let’s not focus on how much time is actually wasted as the focus needs to be on what you can do with the wasted time to generate even more money, work less, or do other things you really want to do.
Use a time log to help you know where you are actually spending your time during the day. Periodically use this time log for a 2-week period of time to help you continue to be time efficient. This tool can be utilized by everyone on your team at the same time. Talk about what you realized at the end of the 2 weeks and how you can get even better with managing time.
Think about it for a minute. When you track what you eat, you watch more of what you put in your mouth as it has to go on a food log that someone else will be reviewing and helping you be better at nutrition. The same works when you apply it to your valuable time. You think twice about doing activities that aren’t moving you forward because you have to write them down.
To download my complimentary Time Log Exercise and help you and your team members be even more time efficient, so you are in a higher probability position to achieve your goals, go to: https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/time-log/. Simple instructions come with the exercise to help you know how to complete the time log.
Time management is vital for any business professional’s success. Make sure you prioritize these time management skills to master your time utilization, so you can accelerate your business results and enjoy having your ideal business and your ideal life.
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